Three children were among five members of the same family killed in a house fire feared to have been sparked by a Diwali firework.
Neighbours told of harrowing scenes as a man, believed to be Aroen Kishen, the father of the children, screamed, “My children, my children” outside the burning house on Sunday night. He and his wife Seema are believed to have been inside the house when the fire broke out. Ten fire engines and 70 firefighters were sent to the house in Hounslow, West London, at 10.26pm. Neighbour Felicia Matei, 29, said: “We saw the man who lived there with his wife and children. My daughter used to play with his daughter. He was screaming, ‘My kids, my kids’.
Ashish Rosaiah, who lives nearby, told how the area was “covered in smoke”. He told the Mirror: “It was Diwali so there were lots of fireworks going off. I walked past at around 11.30pm and the area was covered in smoke. I couldn’t see a thing. I got back at roughly 3.30am and they wouldn’t let me in. The whole area was cordoned off. Then I saw the fire. It was like a movie. It was blowing out of the home.”
A neighbour, who chose not to be named, said: “At around 10.15pm, I heard a lady screaming. We tried to shout from our windows to tell her to quickly get out. We came out and there was a man banging on the door screaming, ‘My children, my children’. At around 10.20pm we heard the children screaming. We tried to get a hose to help them put out the fire. It was a massive fire. It started on the porch first. Within minutes the entire house was on fire.”
Resident Naima, who chose not to share her surname, said: “We have fireworks every year, but last night there were too many. I’ve never seen so many.”
Chief Supt Sean Wilson said: “We have an open mind as to the cause of the fire.”